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09/29/2023 04:48 PM

Leona Francis (Chaponis) Tarasevich

Leona “Lee” Francis (Chaponis) Tarasevich passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones on Sept. 18, one day shy of her 92nd birthday. She brought joy to all who knew her and was known by many names, including Nana, Mema, Sparky, Fireball, and “The Lady.” Like the recent Hurricane “Lee,” she was powerful, long-lasting, and made a significant impact. She was known for her bright red lipstick, signature pouf, and vibrant, sassy personality. She thoroughly enjoyed playing setback, bocce, shuffleboard, and bingo, both in Florida and at The Saybrook at Haddam, where she made her home the last two years. Before that, she was a long-time snowbird who traveled between Old Saybrook and the sunny Florida Gulf Coast.

Lee was a registered nurse, her true calling. She worked at New Britain General and Lawrence + Memorial Hospitals in both maternity and the PACU. She managed to obtain her bachelor’s degree while working and raising three children in New Britain.

She is predeceased by the love of her life, Edward Tarasevich, to whom she was married 67 years. She is survived by three daughters, Lori Salinger and her husband Steven of Amston, Sharon Burke and husband Steve of Guilford, and Caren Goodhue and husband Todd of Old Saybrook; seven grandchildren, including Sean Salinger and wife Jenna of Bradenton, Florida; Shannon Wagner and husband Kevin of Coventry, Shaela Pilver and husband JD of Newington, Megan Burke of Guilford, Kathryn Burke of Brooklyn, New York; Caitlyn Goodhue of New York, Ne York; and Bethany Goodhue of Milford. She was also a wonderful and loving great-grandmother to three incredibly lucky children, Scarlett and Silas Salinger and Adeline Wagner. She also had numerous friends, both in Connecticut and Florida.

A special thank you goes out to her wonderful aide, Belinda Stevens. Her spirit and exuberant laugh will be remembered by many.

Family and friends called on Sept. 23 at Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home in Centerbrook, followed by a Mass of Christian burial at St. John’s Church, 161 Main St, Old Saybrook. Burial was at St Mary’s Cemetery in New Britain, where she will be laid to rest alongside her beloved Ed and parents. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association or the American Diabetes Foundation. To share memories or send condolences to the family, please visit